Quick, someone tell Justin Timberlake that his girlfriend Jessica Biel is dangerous — in cyberspace.
The latest annual report from security company McAfee found that Biel is the biggest draw on the Internet for spyware, adware, malware, spam, phishing, and viruses. Search for her name online, and there’s a one in five chance you’ll catch something nasty.
This is the third year in a row McAfee has put together this list. In 2008, actor Brad Pitt took the dubious distinction of first place, with the same 20 percent chance of danger. He’s since moved down the list to tenth place.
Meanwhile, singer and actress Beyonce held the number two spot for the second year in a row, making her the most common celebrity to appear in the top five. Other notable finds from McAfee include a 40 percent chance of getting a virus when searching for “Jennifer Aniston Screensavers” and links to red flagged sites when searching for “Gisele Bundchen Photos.” Searching for Bundchen’s husband, football star Tom Brady, can yield video downloads containing trojans.
Of course, the report itself is a lure for purchasing one of McAfee’s products, all of which include SiteAdvisor technology to rank a site before it’s even accessed. SiteAdvisor can also be downloaded for free as a standalone application.
Celebrity obsession turns Web surfers into easy targets. As pointed out last year by Techworld’s John E. Dunn, the method of attacking people looking for celebrity ringtones, screensavers, pictures, and video hasn’t really changed over the years, even as other virus and malware attacks get more sophisticated.